Times 27163 – All you ever get from me!

Time: 35 minutes
Music: Mingus Ah Um

This one was a bit of a biff-fest, as some of the wordplay was rather questionable and many of the answers were quite obvious.  There are a number of clever letter-removal clues, which are always good fun it you can figure them out.   However, some of the clues are rather far-fetched; unless, that is, I fail to understand them correctly.   I certainly don’t get at least one, which will provide fodder for discussion, I’m sure.

My time would have been faster if I had not bunged in a misspelt 18 down, making ‘aforementioned’ quite impossible, even after I had correctly deduced the anagram of ‘idea not’ and put those letters in their proper places.   If I had been a llittle quicker, I might have beaten my time for tonight’s Quickie, which is another story altogether.

1 Mended pliers and another tool to make fake backing (3,7)
6 Press article hidden among manuscripts (4)
MASS – M(A)SS, where the plural of MS is MSS.
9 Run out of good English wood for site with raised beds? (4,6)
ROOF GARDEN – R + O + OF + G + ARDEN, I believe, although I have not seen ‘out’ = ‘o’.  Or maybe ‘o/of’ is short for ‘out of’, on the analogy of ‘w/o’.  The correct explanation is R.O. for cricket ‘Run out’.
10 Elegant edible plant stops short of old railway (4)
CHIC – CHIC[o ry], of course.
12 Distant cousin cultivating the land near isle (11,3)
NEANDERTHAL MAN – Anagram of THE LAND NEAR + MAN, the usual isle.  Maybe not so distant?
14 10 hear about goal (6)
TRENDY – TR(END)Y, where the definition is a cross-reference to CHIC.
15 He gives up clubs formerly associated with the German (8)
17 Fertile academic ringing large one in charge (8)
19 A hybrid tea said to be a talisman (6)
22 Bad idea not bringing in supervisors earlier (14)
AFOREMENTIONED – A(FOREMEN)TIONED, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of IDEA NOT.
24 Stand for artist, endlessly calm (4)
EASE – EASE[l], one from the Quickie.
25 Passenger going around with women’s credentials everywhere (3,3,4)
26 Pack volunteers representative (4)
TAMP – TA + MP, stock cryptic elements.
27 Desert more stormy loch (10)
WILDERNESS – WILDER + NESS, one I think we have seen before.
1 Wealth loses its core attraction (4)
2 Ward for example toured by publicity person, note (7)
PROTEGE – PRO + T(EG)Em where a ‘ward’ is not exactly a ‘protege’, but close enough.
3 Cab boss, English, in east supported by club (6,6)
ENGINE DRIVER – ENG + IN + E + DRIVER, like my 12-degree Ping Rapture 2, for example..
4 It spins five or nearly ten times (6)
VORTEX – V + OR + TE[n] + X.
5 Our beginning or our end, Mass excepted? (8)
7 Embarrassed when this writer has fooled around (7)
ASHAMED – AS HA(ME)D, where ‘had’ has its slang sense of ‘fooled’ – “you almost had me there”.
8 Not the best assistant to judge (6-4)
SECOND-RATE – SECOND + RATE, in different senses.
11 Fixing cold-water pump almost makes toilet drier (6,6)
13 Family member in stage role swallowing nut (4-6)
STEP-PARENT – STEP + PAR(EN)T.  I admit, I don’t get the EN bit, but you don’t need to understand the clue to get the evident answer.  ‘Nut’ is printer’s slang for the ‘en’ spacer..
16 Novel devoured by 52 bookworms? (8)
LITERATI – LI(TERAT)I.  Terat- is a combining form meaning ‘monster’ or ‘abnormal’  The clue in the printed paper reads “Novel treat devoured by 52 bookworms”, which makes much better sense than the online version.
18 Work problem involves very big animal (7)
OPOSSUM – OP + OS + SUM, one where I carelessly biffed an incorrect spelling by not heeding the cryptic.
20 A good place to tie up the Confederate army? (3,4)
LEE SIDE – double definition, one referring to the famous Confederate general.
21 Abandon Republican trapped by bear (6)
23 You might catch guy here running water in northeast (4)
TEES – double definition, referring to the attachment of a guy wire and the river in Yorkshire and sounds like TEASE, ‘guy’.

61 comments on “Times 27163 – All you ever get from me!”

  1. In cricket, r.o. is a form of dismissal: run out.

    Edited at 2018-10-08 03:21 am (UTC)

  2. Chambers has “nut” as typesetting jargon for an en measure. In fact I think I’ve seen that somewhere in a previous crossword – actually, Sat 4 Nov last year, when I was the blogger and had to admit it was too obscure for me!

    Edited at 2018-10-08 03:29 am (UTC)

    1. I seem to remember that em and en were referred to as “mutton” and “nut” so that they could easily be told apart when spoken aloud by the typesetters.
      1. And the pointing hand ☞ (sometimes called a manicule) was known as a mutton hand or mutton fist.
  3. I took TEES to sound like “tease” (i.e. “catch guy”) for this.

    As I only know the river from crossword-land, I misspelled it “Teas”, so created an error. This was disappointing in an otherwise good time for me of under 28 minutes.

    Thanks for the blog!

  4. I thought of TEES–running water etc.–but couldn’t fit it in with ‘guy’ until I came here. I figured ‘nut’=en the measure, but didn’t really think about it. I think I learned TERAT- from the Thalidomide scandal (teratogenic); but as said above, ‘novel’ is not the best definition. And it’s not a word, but a combining form as Vinyl notes; can they DO that?
  5. Quite quick, but couldn’t parse Literati. Still not convinced that terat- (monster, abnormal) matches novel. Had completely forgotten the EN, but no problem. RO seen before: Scored briskly, smashing cover off ball, say, before run out (7). Not sure I’ve seen it in the Times before. PRO never seen before – turns out it’s a Public Relations Officer. Enjoyable fare, as usual. Thanks setter and blogger.
  6. 8m17, but with a long pause at the end over 16dn, which I didn’t understand, and still don’t from the parsing above. Still racking my brains to think if there’s another explanation…
    1. To be honest I think it *must* be “Novel treat devoured by 52 bookworms” and they just left a word out.
      1. Well spotted. My newspaper has just been delivered and the printed clue is as you suggest.
  7. Easy one this although I didn’t know TERAT. But with the LII what else could it be? And I see from Verlaine’s explanation that it is just an anagram of TREAT, after all..

    Nice to be back up to date again, with the daily cryptics at least, after a couple of weeks away in France..

  8. 50 minutes with all the same problems as others so far plus losing time after biffing ROSE GARDEN at 9ac which prevented the answer at 2dn until corrected.

    I hope V’s explanation of a missing word at 16dn is correct as the alternative offered in the blog would take us into new territory as to what is and is not allowable.

    I have met EN/NUT before and now remember explaining it once in a blog or comment, but until brnchn mentioned it above I had completely forgotten it.

    1. So it wasn’t just me thinking of ROSE GARDEN. I think it’d make the question mark work even harder, but would still fit the definition, at least!
  9. If I could walk that way, I wouldn’t need the 11dn.
    35 mins with a croissant and the fabulous G&L Marmalade (hoorah).
    MERs at the Nut and the Terat – so thanks for the explanations.
    Mostly I liked: Roof Garden, Vortex and COD to Talcum Powder.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  10. Comforable and enjoyable if bleary-eyed solve on train. Apart from very slow start, reading all clues nearly twice through before spotting EASE, only really held up by 21d (just could not see ST(R)AND for ages) and 22a.
  11. Same as everyone else, had to be LITERATI. And AFOREMENTIONED took a while, looking for overseer in it. Less than nineteen minutes. Thanks vinyl and setter.

    Edited at 2018-10-08 07:51 am (UTC)

  12. It’s been a while since we’ve had a “guess the missing word” clue, and I sniffed a bit at the “bookworms” definition, too. My 2003 Chambers, with a creditable stab at equality, defines LITERATI as “men and women of letters”, presumably the clever ones who can read and write.
    As for the rest, well, it took me 22 minutes, so not the easiest. I had a hard time getting started and the top left was my last corner completed: can’t really see why in retrospect.
    I liked “cab boss” and “raised beds”.
  13. 13:11. I vaguely remembered EN for ‘nut’ but it’s terribly obscure. At least we don’t have to worry about new bounds of obscurity being pushed with TERAT: I have the printed paper too and can confirm the missing ‘treat’. Otherwise I had most trouble in the NW and SE corners. My thought process, if you can call it that, for 1dn was as follows:
    > Try to think of a word for ‘wealth’ starting with L
    > LUXURY
    > Take out the middle… LURY. That’s not a word meaning ‘attraction’
    > LURE is a word meaning attraction
    > The word for wealth must be LUXURE
    Whatever gets you the answer right?
    In the SE I thought of TEES immediately but it took me a while to spot the homophone.
  14. Aha. A word missing in the clue – so that’s where TERAT came from. I’d forgotten that nut was a synonym for the printer’s space. I see RO = Run out has already been commented on, but I ought to mention that our blogger’s geography is not quite right. The Tees is not in Yorkshire, but historically formed the boundary between Yorkshire and Co. Durham, and, in it’s upper reaches, between Cumberland and Westmoreland. Nowadays a lot of it is in what is now Co. Durham. CREATION my COD. 17:15

    Edited at 2018-10-08 07:15 am (UTC)

  15. 21 minutes. The newspaper edition as malcj reports has 16 down correct with the ‘treat’ included after novel, which probably helped my comparative time. Myrtilus beat me to the TALCUM POWDER joke, which I think the opportunity to tell has arisen every year since I first heard Arthur Askey tell it. I don’t know who he pinched it from. Wiki thinks it’s from Vaudeville days. Liked LIP SERVICE, ROOF GARDEN and NEANDERTHAL MAN, maybe the source of the TALCUM POWDER joke, but COD to AFOREMENTIONED as the best light bulb moment for me today. Thank you V and setter.

    Edited at 2018-10-08 08:18 am (UTC)

  16. It’s been a while since I’ve gone sub-10 and though I thought I might with this biff-fest I couldn’t quite manage it. Thankfully LITERATI was one of my biffs thus saving me from the trouble of trying to parse it. COD to VORTEX for the quality of the surface.
  17. I thought this was going to be a walk in the park at first, but I soon ran aground on the bottom half of the puzzle and limped home in 49 minutes. The missing word in 16d was the least of my problems…

    Anyway, let’s draw a veil over my struggles. FOI 1d LURE, LOI 22a AFOREMENTIONED; enjoyed the simplicity of 26a TAMP, and if I’d either known “terat” for novel or the missing “treat” had been there, I think 16d would have been my COD for the lovely surface.

  18. ….I got through this in 10:02 on a day when solving on paper appears to have been a definite advantage.


    Even though we’ve seen WILDERNESS before, I tried vainly to find a loch which was an anagram of “desert more”, only realising it couldn’t be when I spotted LITERATI.


    I biffed MASS and ASHAMED, but parsed both easily enough post-completion.


  19. I agree with our blogger that many of these were well biffable, and I biffed ’em. Online, I was confounded by the missing ‘treat’, but biffed it anyway. NHO nut=en but delighted to learn about ‘mutton’ and ‘nut’ from Matt — thanks for that. A tie for COD between VORTEX and TEES: the latter my LOI and a real tease. All done in 33 mins.
    Thanks to blogger and setter.
  20. Oh… and I really don’t like the cross-referencing device in clues such as 14a — particularly when the cross-ref is the whole definition. Meh!

    Edited at 2018-10-08 09:37 am (UTC)

  21. 6m 45s – with the printed version, so 16d could go straight in without any worries about TERAT. I don’t think I’ve biffed this hard for a while, particularly NEANDERTHAL MAN & AFOREMENTIONED, which I wrote without even considering the wordplay. 23d was my last entry, having completely missed the ‘tease’ homophone and assumed it must be some sort of tent equipment.
  22. Nothing original to see here. Came to a bit of a grinding halt on the SE corner, for reasons which aren’t readily apparent post-solve. I can only partially blame the missing word in 16dn, though I was obviously as confused as everyone else by that lacuna. Likewise, the unparsed EN seemed to belong to Mephistoland, but also wasn’t any real impediment to coming up with the right answer.
  23. Quite quick for me but a dnf as bunged in ‘abovementioned’ and as so often forgot to go back to it. The missing ‘treat’ and added ‘interrupting’ the other day
    suggest a 12 as proof-reader.
  24. Same experience, biffed a lot, in a hurry to go out so didn’t bother to parse LITERATI or notice that the TREAT was missing in the clue. 24 minutes with EN for NUT biffed too.
  25. While waiting for doctors appointment. Desperately tried to put in WINDERMERE which isn’t a loch anyway but fitted with the letters available at the time. Struggling with labyrinthitis at the moment. There’s a word for you setters….
  26. 40m today on LNER heading to 23d via Darlington. Hence the new picture of the Tees at Low Force, just down from where at certain times you may find me taking my Northern spiders swimming in the hope of luring a brownie or two. Good puzzle today and had no problem with LITERATI as I didn’t try to parse it. Might have been 10 minutes quicker had I been able to spell OPOSSUM – my double P made 22 across impossible until I saw my error! Good blog and puzzle today – thanks to both creators.
  27. Yep, there’s an error in the clue in the online version. I get the paper every day and solve with a pen: the clue in the paper is ‘Novel treat devoured by 52 bandits’. Sorry if I’m repeating what someone else has said.
    Did this in 24 mins. Great blog.
  28. 12:26. Once I’d gone back and examined all by biffs the only query was TERET, so there you go.

    We used to cross the Tees regularly when daughter #1 was at university in Newcastle. When we got within a couple of miles of Middlesbrough & Stockton on the A19 I used to put the car’s air onto recirculate and didn’t have outside air coming back in until we were a couple of miles past the other side.

      1. The upper Tees valley is a delightful place .. the Pennine Way goes along it so I have walked it more than once.
        no Idea what Penfold is getting at. I drive North often enough and over the years, passing Drax has been the worst place for polluted air, or so it seemed to me
      2. From Teesside Live, August 2017:

        “Air quality near a major Middlesbrough road has been revealed as the second worse (sic) in the country.

        Only Greater London has higher annual concentrations of poisonous nitrogen dioxide, according to new government data.

        Levels in Middlesbrough of the potentially deadly chemical were estimated at one and half times the legal EU limit – ahead of major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds.

        Middlesbrough Council said breaches, at two stretches of the A66, are “not typical” of air quality across the town.

        But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has now stepped in.

        Officers will be forced to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) to target the sections between the A19 and Newport Bridge, and Hartington Interchange and Cineworld roundabout.”

        So what’s your point exactly? What’s “the usual stuff” and what should I know better?

  29. ‘Guy’ in this sense means TEASE. Therefore, ‘you may catch’ refers to hearing a sound-alike word for Tees.
    1. As was pointed out 8 hours earlier; you might try reading the blog before posting.
  30. I’m relieved to find I wasn’t unaware of a popular novel! I had to work quite hard at his puzzle, but eventually went all green after 30:24. CHIC was my FOI and LITERATI my last due to the error in the clue. 22a took a while as I tried to fit OVERMEN into it, but I eventually saw the light. I also tried to fit MERE into 27a but soon gave up. The Tees has been cleaned up over the last few years and no longer has the unpleasant emanations near the viaduct over the river and the A66. In fact seals swim all the way from Tees Bay as far as the Tees Barrage at Stockton, and lots of wildlife can be spotted from the banks on the very pleasant riverside path which I sometimes cycle along. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and V.
      1. They did indeed. I have to say it’s not the most memorable Shadows track I’ve heard though:-)
  31. Aargh. I had no idea what was going on after sailing through everything else and being confronted with the TEES clue. I never saw the homophone indicator, and I also don’t know that the river is in the NE. It has appeared a load of times in this puzzle, but its location hadn’t been necessary before (or if it was, I forgot). So it remains blank. Thanks for the enlightenment, and regards.
  32. DNF as did not get the Tease/Tees connection (might catch guy? – good grief). Elsewhere slowed myself down by bunging in “Second Rank” and “Rose Garden”. Clearly had a bad day with 4-letter words. Otherwise enjoyable.

    Edited at 2018-10-08 05:53 pm (UTC)

  33. 26:30. Fortunately solving on paper meant literati was no problem. Held up a bit in the NW but not unduly so. Forgot the printer’s nut, delighted to come here and learn of its companion, mutton. Came very close to putting Windermere in at 27ac and NE around something at 23dn, just managed to twig “catch guy” though. With Tees in the bottom right, the Pliers in the clue to 1ac in the top left must have been Chaka Demus’s mate.
  34. Dang nabbitt, as I would say were I a cartoon gold-prospector. Failed utterly on TEES, even though that very river ran through my head briefly, so to speak. I even knew I was looking for a homophone, but then didn’t equate “guy” with “tease”. In the end, I opted for that little-known river, the Rees*, which sounds like Reece, and I know a guy called Reece.

    [*Wikipedia tells me that the Rees is in New Zealand, which is definitely north-east of somewhere.]

    Edited at 2018-10-08 08:11 pm (UTC)

  35. Also had Rose Garden for a while, but I knew it didn’t parse. Hadn’t seen nut for en before but it had to be correct. Failed on Tees, had put in Nets thinking cricket with NE but couldn”t see where TS came from. Thought MSS was pushing it a bit.
  36. Belated comment in thanks for the reminder of Ah Um. Haven’t listened to it for years (until today)
  37. Terat – as obscure as it’s rum
    To any who used it, keep shtum
    The moral you seek:
    As from next week
    Go off-line, buy a paper, old chum

    pp Sales Department – Print Edition

  38. I don’t post much, because I figure it’s irritating months after the fact. But I do check the solution here, if I have boldly biffed as here with TEES. Happy to learn mutton, hope to encounter it in a crossword soon. Sorry that you poor chaps had printers’ devilry in the online version. Here in South China Morning Post a couple of spaces were missing today (Englishwood and Ahybrid) but nothing serious. Thanks for all posts in 2018 and a Happy 2019 to all.

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